“Something happens, but by the time we notice, it has begun without us. Thus, our access to the beginning is necessarily incomplete, fragmentary.”
May 08 – June 04, 2021
Anca Poterașu Gallery, Bucharest
Fragments, larger and smaller expand in our mind’s eye, as we build narratives around the traces that branch out in memory. Aurora Király starts from personal recollections that she follows down in layers onwards, in shapes and associations with films, novels, poetry and performative actions. A shifting, choreographed universe takes form, where silhouettes emerge out of the flat surface of textile collages and photographs in embodied shadows, textile sculptures and experimental photography objects.
The artist focuses on the subjective memory, the half-forgotten moments, the reinterpreted stories in our mind, the connections we make with others. Like never before, we are able to record, store and re-access every detail of our lives. And yet, the faster we collect and the more the images, the more shards of mirrors we hurry to assemble.
Departing from immediate reality, Aurora Király reconnects what is remembered to what is felt, from translucent moments, to retraced movements in textured thoughts. Sewing, drawing, unravelling, rebuilding become performative actions hidden into the work of memory that feeds into our sense of selves into the world.
The effect of remembrance in relation with photography and to one’s identity has informed Aurora Király’s work throughout her career, starting from the Melancholia series (1997 – 1999) and Viewfinder Mock-ups (2016 – 2019), connecting into the more recent Soft Drawings (2020 –2021) or more obviously, into the Viewfinder Clash series (2021). The experimentation with image making and time-to-memory process registers transformation across mediums, materializing back and forth, from silver gelatin plates and photograms to textile works, in-situ murals and installations.
Aurora Király’s cross-medium approach speaks directly to the feminine associated with the domesticity of needle work. It is employed by the artist as a clear statement, reconnecting with the feminism of Louise Bourgeois or Tracey Emin, through the autobiographical. An alternative history of photography unfolds in subjective narratives, becoming an accomplice and paying homage to the feminist history of performance.
Scrutinizing her own personal life and experiences leads to installations such as 50’s or Soft Despair (2020) series, conveying conflict, age, pain and doubt. The dance and theatrical movements of performers including Yvonne Rainer or Mette Ingvartsen fill out the contour of Aurora Király’s body in life-sized padded textile shapes. Either captured in a silent scream or in mid-air leaps, movement is transferred in mute installations, all the more powerful for the recognizable voices stored inside, unspoken, unreactive or under the spell of self-censorship. The textile bodies coil around each-other, forming a merged frame of flowing gestures, an overlapping statement on aging, the relation between one’s inhabited body and self-expression. From felt, to different recycled fabrics, tore-up pieces of clothes are sewed into Aurora Király’s textile collages Soft Drawings_Subconscious Narratives (2020 – 2021).
Exploring relationships within family life, the ambivalent want for both comfort and escape, the flat surfaces, the overlay of transparencies come together into deeply psychological process. It may be a scene from a well-known TV show, or a relatable picture out of the family album, or the light cast down the ceiling-window of a museum space – the works connect to the understory that builds up to main events and memories.